Training Tips for the Going the Distance Ride

There are actually not too many ways to train for a Century Ride. Jim Robinson once told me that the 5 most important things to do in preparation for a Century were very simple. They are: Ride, Ride, Ride, Ride and Ride some more.

Riding frequently and varying the distance, speed and terrain helps build your strength and endurance. The more time you spend in the saddle, the more comfortable you’ll be on a long ride.

In training for the GTD double century ride the last 2 years, I tried to ride 2 or 3 times a week, about 50-70 miles a week. The last 2 weeks before the ride, I rode about 100 miles each week, then rested the week of the ride. I also did a lot of stretching exercises. I did well on both rides and was comfortable in the saddle. Though tired at the end of the second century, I was not particularly sore.

Remember, this is a Ride and not a Race. Plan to ride at a speed that’s comfortable for YOU using your gears appropriately so you’re not straining. Riding with a friend who rides at the same speed you do is also very helpful.

Here are some links to training tips that you might find helpful. Deb Holman provided the last four links:

From the Pan Mass Challenge: This has good suggestions for stretching and strengthening exercises and a training routine to follow.

From the World Vision Ride: This gives you a training chart to use, tips on hill climbing (our route does not have any very serious hills!) and some tips on what to eat the day of the ride.


This site has “rider friendly” suggestions that do not seem too hard to follow. They suggest 2-3 rides per week, working up to 100 miles a week as the ride approaches.

From Lance ought to know! Here are some suggestions and links to information about exercises and diet.

And finally, from Team Estrogen:

This one stresses the importance of time in the saddle and that having a buddy to train and ride with is very helpful.

So, try to ride 2-3 times a week, gradually increase your distance and do some longer rides, spend enough time in the saddle, eat well and do enough stretching. And finally, if, at my age, 71, I was able to do 2 back to back centuries and, not only live to tell the tale but enjoy the rides I’m sure you’ll be able to do it too!

What are your thoughts about training? You can post your comments or suggestions in the comment box.

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